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Robert Eales Brings the Inspirational Emily Hobhouse Back to Life in The Compassionate Englishwoman

The Compassionate EnglishwomanUCT Press is proud to present The Compassionate Englishwoman: Emily Hobhouse in the Boer War by Robert Eales:

In 1899 the South African War broke out. As the war progressed, in London the upper-class Emily Hobhouse learned of the camps in southern Africa that contained mostly Boer women and children who had been displaced by the hostilities. She was so concerned that she decided to go to South Africa to investigate. By herself and on her own initiative, she travelled by ship to Cape Town, to begin the distribution of aid to these camps.

She travelled thousands of kilometres through the war and was appalled by the British army’s tactic of clearing the land and herding hundreds of thousands of people into concentration camps, where the awful conditions put the lives of these “refugees” at risk. She urged the local authorities to provide better care and support, but little changed. So she returned to Britain to plead that immediate action be taken. She was met by indifference from the government and vitriol from the press.

This remarkable woman was on the wrong side of history. Her heroic mission could unwittingly have brought down the British government, and her story was smothered. In this book, through careful research, her courageous and inspirational work is once again brought to life.

A well-researched and readable account of the humanitarian work of Emily Hobhouse, offering a too little aired perspective on the atrocities of the British forces in the Anglo-Boer War.” – Dorothy Driver, Professor in English at Adelaide University.

About the Author

Robert Eales went to high school in Bloemfontein where much of this book is set. Subsequently, he studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and Balliol College, Oxford. He retired from the business world in 2005 and has been researching the South African War of 1899–1902 ever since. He has delivered many talks on this war, presented papers at conferences and been published in historical journals.

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